Overview of Foundation

The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation was created by Dame Kiri in 2004 and is committed to assisting outstanding young New Zealand singers who have complete dedication to their art, with judicious mentoring, financial support and career assistance. The Foundation also provides opera lovers with the unique opportunity to make a difference to the lives and careers of talented young New Zealand singers and to help them achieve their dreams.

Dame Kiri understands the challenges facing talented young people who aspire to an international career. She had to work hard to pay her way, and to create opportunities for herself. But her early career opportunities were also assisted by the financial support she received from a range of New Zealand philanthropic sources, enabling her to move to London to learn from the best teachers in the world.

One of Dame Kiri's motivations in establishing the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation was to find imaginative and constructive ways to assist outstanding New Zealand singers with their international career development.

It’s relatively easy to give young singers a big cheque and send them on their way hoping for the best, but Dame Kiri thought a more considered and strategic approach might produce better results. It might be more efficient, for example, to provide additional support in New Zealand in specific areas of training so that young singers are better prepared when they leave. That means that they don’t have to spend precious hard-earned funds on remedial studies in the UK just to get themselves up to the starting standard of their international competitors.

Money is always in short supply, so we do everything possible to ensure that the many grants and gifts handed out to our singers every year by a range of generous organisations and individuals are spent carefully and wisely.

The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation (UK) is an associate Foundation established in the United Kingdom in 2004 by Dame Kiri. This foundation is a separate organisation and has no legal connection to the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation based in New Zealand. It is an approved charitable trust registered with the Charities Commission in the UK (Registered No 1092813).